Shell today brought experts from multiple fields on energy together at the first Powering Progress Together Forum in Singapore. Themed “Cleaner Energy Moves Asia”, the 4th Asian edition of the forum saw more than 100 stakeholders from government, business, academia and NGOs, together with Shell’s business partners and leaders, discuss, debate and catalyse cross-border collaborations to tackle the region’s future energy challenges.
According to Shell Scenarios, Asia's demand for energy could increase by 50% in the run-up to 20401. To meet Asia’s future energy challenges head-on, the Powering Progress Together forum in Singapore focused on the Asian aspirations and dilemmas, and brought representatives from diverse sectors together to come up with innovative technical solutions for cleaner energy that is more affordable and accessible.
“Changes in energy use will need to happen in virtually every part of society. Governments, academics, consumers and companies like Shell will need to work together to meet this enormous challenge. With its willingness to collaborate and its track record for forward-thinking, Singapore sets a great example in this field,” said John Abbott, Downstream Director and Executive Committee member for Royal Dutch Shell, in his welcome address at the forum.
Kick-started by a lively discussion centred around “Asia’s Cleaner Energy Dilemma” moderated by Marc Carrel-Billiard, Global Senior Managing Director for Accenture Labs, experts from around the region discussed how Asia could balance its increasingly heavy energy needs with lower emissions while maintaining a reliable energy system, through exploring new business models, leveraging technology to push new boundaries, and developing new partnerships and collaboration. Panellists included Mark Gainsborough (Executive Vice President, New Energies, Royal Dutch Shell), Koh Kong Meng (General Manager & Managing Director, Southeast Asia & Korea, HP Inc), Visal Leng (President, Asia Pacific, GE Oil & Gas) and Dr. Alvin Yeo (Director, Industry Development Department, EMA).
The forum also featured an immersive experience where a local playback theatre troupe challenged delegates to think both critically and creatively of solutions to make a cleaner energy future for Asia. The theatrical performance was inspired by the pilot Imagine the Future Scenarios Competition, in which the winning student team from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University presented two contrasting scenarios of how people in Asia would live, work and play in 2050.
The first scenario, “Convergence”, was based on a more collaborative world – both on a community and international level. The scenario focused on life in urban cities, where a common smart energy grid would allow sharing of renewable energies between multiple cities in the same region. Communities benefit from the efficient public transport powered by automatic vehicles, smart utilities, while the cities work as one to transform waste into energy. In the “Divergence” scenario, advanced technological tools such as augmented and virtual reality result in the decentralisation of people’s lives, where everything from work to play can be done from the comfort of one’s home. Households in this world are economically incentivised to generate their own renewable energy and reduce, reuse and recycle, aided by new technologies.